Monica left the party in a hurry, her face red with the tears of shame. She looked back towards the big house where the party had been, hoping to find a a friendly face somewhere, but all she saw were the same people looked back at her. Some were the 30ish red heads holding flute glasses of champagne and various well to do husbands and boyfriends looking back through the windows and porches. It was almost as if they had formed a cordon around the house, making clear that she had been banished like Adam and Eve had been from the Garden of Eden.

The rain started pelting on the top of her blue Ford Fairmont, which looked out of place in parking lot full of Porsches and Mercedes. Monica fumbled with her keys and got in the car. closed the door and sobbed as the rain came down even harder, cascading down the windshield blurring the light from the lamp posts.

"Why,? Why?"

She started the car and pulled out of the parking space and left the manor property and out into the night.

Her doctor had told her that after her experiences, she should try to socialize more and try to resume some sense of normalcy.

"Sometimes," he had said to her. "It's just as important to build new memories as it is to recover old ones."

"Well doc, it's not easy socializing with anyone when you have a 6 year gap in your life. I mean, what will I say when people ask me what I have been doing for all this time. '

The little psychiatrist looked at Monica over her yellow legal pad for a moment. "Consider this an exercise for you. You see, the memories of those past 6 years are still there in your mind and yes, sometimes after a traumatic event, a lot of memories will get repressed.

A lot of people say that the memories are simply buried beneath the surface; I would rather use the analogy of a dam that's blocking the river flow. Dams have to withstand a lot of pressure to keep the river from overflowing. That's why there's regular maintenance on them Sometimes, little cracks develop over time and some of the water comes through."

"So you're saying that if I go ahead do some regular activities, I might gain some memory back?"

She sighed. "it's possible. You never know."

Now, several weeks later, there was nothing normal at all. She had gone to the party fully expecting to see her coworker, Madeline there. Madeline was always the social butterfly, flirting with the men and showing off her long red locks of hair playing with while teasing them. Monica was shy and had very mouse brown hair that drift lazily down her shoulders and very often wore broad, wire rim spectacles and was considered by most to be a sort of spinster.

 Madeline seemed to feel sorry for Monica and had invited her to this party; however, when she had arrived at the party, no one at the party seemed to know who Madeline was and denied any knowledge having invited either Madeline or Monica to the party.

If that wasn't embarrassing enough, there was the incident in the main hall. Something happened.. .... but Monica drew a complete blank. All that she remembered was going into the main hall. There was a the winding staircase near the far wall that lead to the upper floors and in the center of the marble tiled floor was the oval shaped table filled with hors d'oeuvres and the ice sculpture in the middle. After that, there was nothing.. a blank space where another memory should be.

The next thing she remembered was being face down on the marble tiled floor with her without any clothes on at all with a few bruises on her body. Some of the men at the party had leered at her and whistled but these were quickly ushered out of the room. The women had shaken their heads at her and none of them offered to lift a finger to assist her as she got up slowly. The only exception was the house maid who had found her clothes in the 2nd floor bathroom and the rest of her belongings.

No one told her anything about what had happened.

She kept on driving down the road and onto the interstate to find the hotel that she had used. Madeline had set up for previously and told her that she would meet her there before the party. Madeline never showed but she did call her. Surely she should be there by now.

She arrived at the motel on the north side of town about an hour later and opened the door to the room. The wallpaper in it was peeling and the lamp was still on as was the heat and the room was not empty. Her psychiatrist was there waiting for her.

"Where's Madeline?" Monica demanded. " What are you doing here? Madeline was supposed to be here."

"It's okay, Monica. There's nothing to worry about Madeline is safe"

"Safe?! I just went to a party like you said and I ended up face down on the floor, buck naked and everyone staring at me. Safe doesn't even fit. Now where is Madeline?"

The Psychiatrist pulled a lighter from her pocket and lit a cigarette... then the sound of the television turning on... then nothing....

One day later, the news channel was playing in a room.

"Breaking news. There was a mysterious death that occurred at a the mansion of the Petersons. Zach Peterson was found dead in his bedroom the morning after he had hosted a party. Witness say that they did notice anything unusual about Zach during the party and that he had danced through the night and was in a good mood. The cause of death is currently under investigation. "

The psychiatrist looked at the woman in the hospital bed, holding the chart in her arms.

"You did a good job" a man said. "absolutely brilliant. " He shook balding head in amazement. "A perfect killer with a perfect alibi as a girl found buck naked at a party. I don't know how you did it."

The small woman gave a slight smirk. It's amazing what you can do with the human mind. In some ways, it's like a computer. You just partition off a section of it and fill it with what you need, then lock it off until it's needed. In this case, it turned a shy, awkward woman into a highly skilled killer.

"Madeline.. Madeline......" the woman murmured.

"Who is Madeline?," the balding man enquired.

"That's her name", the psychiatrist replied. "The killer we created in the empty space of her mind"

January 02, 2021 22:00

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